Hey all, I just went to a Joe Bonamassa concert tonight, hes a great guitar player, just a joy to watch. My question is, during one of his songs, (I think it was 'Woke up Dreamin', if anyone is familiar with him...) he did a real sweet extended solo and started with a riff of blues scale, then smoothly changed into some classical, maybe a tiny bit jazzy, scale. So I am curious if anyone has any good scales that make good transitions from/into blues scales during a solo or something.

I am pretty decent at guitar, especially solos, but somehow have never felt the urge to venture into this area of learning, so any scale ideas, or tips on how to make a smooth transition would be helpful.

Thank you.
Well, if you want to transition from blues or pentatonic scales (actually just any scale), the possibilities are endless. Typically, you would probably use like a natural minor based line or even a major scale based line. Mixing up the natural minor scale and the minor pentatonic and blues scale make up the basic formula for a rock or blues rock solo. So learn your scales in all their box shapes and you can see the connections between the scales and it makes soloing a lot easier. So, freshen up on minor scales, minor pentatonic scales and blues scales and you got a solid foundation for rock/blues solos, and that'll lead to learning other scales and licks to venture into other genres. Also, unless you're experienced, freshen up on soloing techniques like string bending, legato based licks, banjo rolls, etc., etc.. Rock/metal guitarist Zakk Wylde has some amazing lessons on the art of rock soloing and other players like Eric Johnson have some great insight into the art of guitar soloing in general. Hope any of this helps.
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Last edited by Warheart1188 at Aug 17, 2008,
I'm not a big pro on this, but what I would do is learn modes and what chords go well with them (pitch axis theory, I think...).
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A good way to think about this is in terms of the chord you are playing over. Usually there would be various chords and you would apply this to all of them but for the sake of simplicity lets leave it at one.

So say you were soloing over a Dm7 chord. This chord contains the notes D, A, C and F.

D pentatonic is the obvious start point, with the notes D, F, G, A, C and D it is pretty much built for the chord. Obviousely we could add the flattened 5th (Ab) to blues it up.

Now what Joe is probably doing is mearely applying that same thought process to other scales. As long as the notes of the scale fit over the chord you should be able to bounce back and forth with your pentatonic with ease.

Examples of scales/modes to switch to would be:

D dorian - D, E, F, G, A, B, C (Jazzy sounding)
D aolian/natural minor - D, E, F, G, A, Bb (Dark classically sound)
D phrygian - D, Eb, F, G, A, Bb (almost spanishy sound)

I use these mearely as examples of what he may be playing around with. My best advise to getting to grips with this kind of thought process is to either get a good guitar/music teacher to teach you your modes and the chords they relate to, or get a good quality theory book to learn from (I cannot recomend the book 'scales and chords for guitarists' by David Mead enough for this.) Amazon.com has a good selection of these books if you are not near a music shop.

I hope I helped and didn't jsut confuse you even more.
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Last edited by leeb rocks at Aug 17, 2008,